Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

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Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:15 am

Hi ,

Recently i plan to get a laptop for me to travel , as my company laptop limited to office stuff , as i will be taking 2 device hence it is important for me to get a lighter

My requirement are simple
-Edit Photo ,Surf net , facebook , MS Office ppt ,excel, word , online movie , some simple games
the laptop should have USB 3 for external harddisk/card reader . and it output should have either HDMI /(projector interfaces).

any one have similar requirement and what are your decision after that ?
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:22 am

http://www.xoticpc.com/asus-ux31adh51-p-4975.html
This fits your needs and should be cheaper than a macbook too.

EDIT: It comes with OEM bloated windows 8, so I would suggest reinstalling a clean copy of windows 8 along with startisback.
I like Windows 8.
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:07 am

Asus UX31A should meet your requirements without any issue.
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:29 am

Dunnot know if there's a place where you can try them all out at BUT ... You should physically try them out. I actually really like the Surface Pro and might consider getting a Surface Pro 2 to replace my MBA11 - all depends on if somehow they break linux support.

My regular laptop is a rMBP15 though. MBA is just for "light" travel.
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:33 am

If you need battery life, then the MBA should be your first choice.
Sixty percent of the time, it works every time.
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:43 am

The new Aspire S7.

Stay away from the current Surface Pro as it does not have Haswell and it does not have enough storage (at most 85 GB available).

The 2013 MacBook Air 13" gets my vote because of battery life, card reader, and OS X. The S7 gets "barely over half what the new MacBook Air scored" in The Verge battery test.
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:45 am

I just bought the new 2013 Macbook Air, and I have to say it's awesome. 12 hrs+ battery life, small / light / fast. Has Intel HD 5000 GPU which can handle a lot of graphics, even better than MacBook Pro or Retina. Also the SSD is the fastest you can get anywhere.
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:15 pm

JdL wrote:I just bought the new 2013 Macbook Air, and I have to say it's awesome. 12 hrs+ battery life, small / light / fast. Has Intel HD 5000 GPU which can handle a lot of graphics, even better than MacBook Pro or Retina. Also the SSD is the fastest you can get anywhere.

The UX31A has comparably battery life (on paper), a better screen, and a faster processor.
And it's also not a mac.

JdL wrote:Also the SSD is the fastest you can get anywhere.

I don't know anyone who can feel a difference between SSDs in everyday usage.
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:35 pm

chµck wrote:The UX31A has comparably battery life (on paper)

Battery life sucks at 5 hours, 46 minutes.

chµck wrote:And it's also not a mac.

Too bad. OS X is a superior OS. :P

chµck wrote:I don't know anyone who can feel a difference between SSDs in everyday usage.

Not all SSDs are created equally. I noticed a difference when I upgraded from a 2011 MBA to a 2012 MBA.Just look at the jump in SSD performance over a span of 3 years!
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:43 pm

Difference between SSDs is probably just like the difference between let's say a WD Blue 7200 RPM drive and a WD Black 7200 RPM drive - it's there and depending on what you do you can DEFINITELY tell, but yeah plenty of people wouldn't notice. My parents didn't really feel like the SSD I got them made much difference from the 7200 RPM WDBlack they had before.

MBA guy - ummm the HD5000 is designed to be just equal to the machines with NVIDIA GT 650M. That's actually the design target, but in reality it's really not there just quite. Also gets a lower screen res to deal with.
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:54 pm



Well, I said:
I don't know anyone who can feel a difference between SSDs in everyday usage.

And then you go on to post some synthetic benchmarks XD
I like Windows 8.
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:07 pm

More MacBook Air 2013 info.

SSD Info: http://anandtech.com/show/7085/the-2013 ... w-13inch/8

Battery Life:
Anandtech "Absolutely insane battery life": http://anandtech.com/show/7085/the-2013 ... w-13inch/6
The Verge "13 hours 29 minutes. That's all you need to know": http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/17/44363 ... -inch-2013

The GPU: http://anandtech.com/show/7085/the-2013 ... w-13inch/4

Note: The GPU on these types of notebooks is really less about gaming / 3D apps, and more about how well they handle 2D / desktop environments. (Seriously, who the heck would buy one of these for gaming anyway??) Some good comparisons I ran personally are using Xcode on MBA 2011 vs MBA 2013 - night-and-day difference. Also Web browsing and all the UI is now liquid-smooth when connected to my 27" 2560x1440, whereas it was sluggish on even Retina displays. Apple did a bad thing when they removed the secondary GPU, which is why you need the fastest IGP you can get. Everyone hates IGP's, but if you have to get one, get the fastest you can.

The MBA also makes the best Windows hardware on the market, if you install Bootcamp and run it natively (as opposed to virtually via Fusion).

Here is a review with Windows 7 on the older Macbook Air. The 2013 model with Windows 8 is even more awesome.
http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/10/27874 ... e-them-all
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:18 pm

chµck wrote:Well, I said:
I don't know anyone who can feel a difference between SSDs in everyday usage.

And then you go on to post some synthetic benchmarks XD

That highlighted my real world experience! Which you conveniently ignored! Newsflash: some SSDs are faster than others. More news at 10.

From the article:

What does this mean in the real world? The new SSD is definitely snappier in system use. Wake from sleep is a bit quicker, as are application launches.
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:35 pm

The 3 notebooks I narrowed down to when I recently purchased were:
-Sony Vaio Pro 13
-ASUS Zenbook UX31A
-2013 MBA 13"

The Vaio Pro 13 looked the sexiest in my opinion, and had the battery life to compete with the MBA on paper, but faltered in the price stakes. The UX31A loses out on real world battery life. The MBA loses out on the Screen resolution and that it's an (admittedly very good) TN Panel.

As the others have said though, the real world battery life on the MBA is insane. I regularly can get 10+ hours of battery life while running a windows VM alongside OSX. I also grabbed a pretty good price on it due to the various student discounts and tax exemptions for purchasing while overseas, so it ended up (ironically) being the most cost effective.

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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:16 pm

I am not sure getting a mac is always good advice, unless the OP is already in the apple eco-system or has a familiarity with OSX. If neither of these criteria are met, it simply doesn't make sense.

Here is the most important question that the OP can answer: What is your budget?

After that, its a simple matter to identify what fits your needs.
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:52 pm

You can install Windows on the MBA directly, so no need to worry about any Apple ecosystem issues. There's a lot of other reasons NOT to go down that route, but that one unfortunately isn't it.

For some people the lack of ability to get a 4 years no real questions asked warranty is an issue. Dell/Lenovo/HP all offer fairly lengthy warranties if you want to pony up for them (and usually it's best to do so up front not later on.)
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:26 pm

stoydgen wrote:The 3 notebooks I narrowed down to when I recently purchased were:
-Sony Vaio Pro 13
-ASUS Zenbook UX31A
-2013 MBA 13"

The Vaio Pro 13 looked the sexiest in my opinion, and had the battery life to compete with the MBA on paper, but faltered in the price stakes. The UX31A loses out on real world battery life. The MBA loses out on the Screen resolution and that it's an (admittedly very good) TN Panel.

As the others have said though, the real world battery life on the MBA is insane. I regularly can get 10+ hours of battery life while running a windows VM alongside OSX. I also grabbed a pretty good price on it due to the various student discounts and tax exemptions for purchasing while overseas, so it ended up (ironically) being the most cost effective.

Never, never, ever get a Vaio.
Yes I'm biased.
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:31 pm

I'll also suggest the Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A or UX32VD as suitable for your applications. The 13.3" 1920x1080 IPS display is nice.
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:43 pm

chµck wrote:
stoydgen wrote:The 3 notebooks I narrowed down to when I recently purchased were:
-Sony Vaio Pro 13
-ASUS Zenbook UX31A
-2013 MBA 13"

The Vaio Pro 13 looked the sexiest in my opinion, and had the battery life to compete with the MBA on paper, but faltered in the price stakes. The UX31A loses out on real world battery life. The MBA loses out on the Screen resolution and that it's an (admittedly very good) TN Panel.

As the others have said though, the real world battery life on the MBA is insane. I regularly can get 10+ hours of battery life while running a windows VM alongside OSX. I also grabbed a pretty good price on it due to the various student discounts and tax exemptions for purchasing while overseas, so it ended up (ironically) being the most cost effective.

Never, never, ever get a Vaio.
Yes I'm biased.
You would be too if you had to fix them to pay your way through college.


I work for Sony (well a small part of Sony Music) and I'll say this - don't buy any cheap Japanese "made" laptops. The cheap ones are terrible, the good ones are of course overpriced. :)
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:54 am

JdL wrote:Has Intel HD 5000 GPU which can handle a lot of graphics, even better than MacBook Pro or Retina

No, the Intel HD5000 isn't even twice as fast as an HD4000, which is basically the rock-bottom, bare minimum you need for most graphics-heavy applications/games; Even the lower-end discrete solutions like a GTX 650M are going to be 2-3x the performance of an HD5000. Don't get me wrong, the HD5000 is probably the first Intel IGP that can handle modern gaming, but it's an order-of-magnitude slower than what's in the Macbook Pro.

JdL wrote:Also the SSD is the fastest you can get anywhere.

It's fast for a consumer SSD, but PCI Express SSD's have been around for a loong time, and it's by no means the fastest.

The one thing I will say is that I'd definitely take a Macbook air over a Surface Pro. I'm not sure about any other Ultrabook though, because they ALL suck at gaming, and then it's just a question of portability and battery life. Apple battery life *IS* good.
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:39 pm

keltor wrote:I work for Sony (well a small part of Sony Music) and I'll say this - don't buy any cheap Japanese "made" laptops. The cheap ones are terrible, the good ones are of course overpriced. :)

Good advice regarding Sony headphones :D
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:05 pm

keltor wrote:You can install Windows on the MBA directly, so no need to worry about any Apple ecosystem issues. There's a lot of other reasons NOT to go down that route, but that one unfortunately isn't it.

For some people the lack of ability to get a 4 years no real questions asked warranty is an issue. Dell/Lenovo/HP all offer fairly lengthy warranties if you want to pony up for them (and usually it's best to do so up front not later on.)


Has the situation improved with regard to running Windows natively on Macs? I sold off my MBP a bit over 3 years ago because I can't stand OSX's interface (It's awful IMO) and attempting to install Windows 7 resulted in drastically reduced battery life and the touchpad didn't work well in Windows either.
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:16 pm

keltor wrote:MBA guy - ummm the HD5000 is designed to be just equal to the machines with NVIDIA GT 650M. That's actually the design target, but in reality it's really not there just quite. Also gets a lower screen res to deal with.


You're thinking of the Iris Pro 5200 iGPU with the Crystalwell eDRAM chip - the HD5000 used in the MBA is certainly no where near the GT 650 in performance. :)
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:25 pm

slowriot wrote:Has the situation improved with regard to running Windows natively on Macs? I sold off my MBP a bit over 3 years ago because I can't stand OSX's interface (It's awful IMO) and attempting to install Windows 7 resulted in drastically reduced battery life and the touchpad didn't work well in Windows either.


Power management on the WIndows/PC side has typically lagged well behind OS X's, so Macs running Windows tend to get pretty comparable battery life to other PCs with similar hardware, but notably worse than when running its native OS. I can't speak for the native trackpad drivers in Windows, but mine works without fault in VMware Fusion and Apple's trackpads have traditionally been in a league ahead of their PC competition so I can't see how it'd be worse than whatever most PC manufacturers ship.
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:58 pm

The only requirement I see that could be used to narrow down your choices is the video output ports.
Neither the MacBook Air nor the Surface Pro come with HDMI or VGA ports built in, but there are adapters available.
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:37 pm

I don't think much of any of the three options, though if I had to pick on I'd say go with an ultrabook because it offers the best compatibility for the widest range of uses. Macbooks are a good choice if everything you need is Mac compatible, but that usually isn't the case. Surface has too many negatives to justify the price.

I would suggest a medium-spec 11.6" laptop like this, it should be able to do everything you need for a thousand bucks less. If you're willing to sacrifice the games you could swap the OS for a lightweight Linux distro and get a very speedy experience. If you take that route you could get away with a Chromebook, though if you do that you'll want to reformat and install a real OS.
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:31 pm

NovusBogus wrote:Macbooks are a good choice if everything you need is Mac compatible

OS X (pronounced OS ten) compatible

NovusBogus wrote:but that usually isn't the case

But in this case hell ya.
mghong wrote:My requirement are simple
-Edit Photo ,Surf net , facebook , MS Office ppt ,excel, word , online movie , some simple games
the laptop should have USB 3 for external harddisk/card reader . and it output should have either HDMI /(projector interfaces).
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:32 am

Chrispy_ wrote:
JdL wrote:Also the SSD is the fastest you can get anywhere.

It's fast for a consumer SSD, but PCI Express SSD's have been around for a loong time, and it's by no means the fastest.

Semantics, schmemantics. What SSD would you recommend for a current desktop build? Right, a Samsung 840 EVO or something of that sort, not a PCIe SSD. Regardless of what impact it actually has on user experience, there's no denying that 700+ mbyte/s read speeds in a retail computer is pretty awesome.
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Re: Macbook air vs Surface Pro vs any Ultrabook

Postposted on Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:58 am

I am micrsoft supported starting from 1990 till now , (not really so deeep) but i use MS office to work daily.

Infact i am trying to move out from MS Office as to stay at google doc (since it is FOC) . my plan was to use it for some R&D and presentation slide.

of cause if that machine got gaming capabilities it is good to have.

I like MBA just because of it weight (although i own 2 iphone and 2 ipad) , i dont htink all my IOS app can transfer to MAC ..:) but as i said i plan to move out from expensive MS Office due to plan to become freelance in future (2-3yr) ..:) :D

Thank so much for all the comment , i will kick Surface out from my list since non of the comment favor on that..

Will update you all once i bought it..(or decide on which to buy)
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